Head out of the page and onto the stage!

Readings from Black Swan's Emerging Writers Group.

Six WA playwrights of exceptional talent and promise were selected to write an original play that showed creative bravery and an urgency of voice. Now, following an intensive period of development and mentoring, Black Swan State Theatre Company’s 2016 Emerging Writers Group is ready to take their scripts to the next level.

Come and be part of the audience at these FREE public readings by our next generation of creative writers. This is the first time the plays will be read by professional actors, who will infuse these scripts with the appropriate amount of drama to really bring the stories and characters to life. The playwrights will also be eligible to win the Malcolm Robertson Award - a cash prize, including continued support and development from Black Swan.

Featuring scripts by Jessica Messenger, Bill Scheggia, Ian Sinclair, Andrew Sutherland, Clare Testoni and Kirsten Thomson, the diverse works span a variety of genres from Australian Gothic, Contemporary Tragedy, Mythic Poetry to Aussie Comedy. Immediately after each reading, the audience will be invited to engage in discussion with the writers about the work.


First Time Read play readings are now closed. Applications for the 2017 Emerging Writers Group are now open. See here for further details.


Play Readings


Saturday 21 January 2017

11am: Heed The Spark by Clare Testoni.

It’s 1899 in the karri forests of the South West. A young woman comes to an isolated property and falls into a dangerous world of sex, ghosts, and secrets.

Cast includes: Ben Mortley, Andrea Gibbs, Daisy Coyle, Alicia Osyka.

3pm: Bad Seeds by Bill Scheggia.

In the middle of a quarter-life crisis, three dysfunctional mates steal an expensive plant and accidentally lay the foundations for a criminal horticultural syndicate.

Cast includes: Nick Maclaine, John Shrimpton, Teresa Moore.


Saturday 28 January 2017

11am: Baby Girl by Andrew Sutherland.

In this contemporary Queer exploration of the nature of tragedy, two couples come together to start a family.

Cast includes: Stuart Halusz, Jo Morris, Andrea Gibbs, Nick Maclaine.

3pm: Whale Fall by Ian Sinclair.

“When a whale dies… very, very far out to sea.., It falls.”

Nadine returns to the beach-side home and family she abandoned years ago; She’s back to re-establish a relationship with her daughter however Nadine discovers they are now oceans apart. Whale Fall is a slow-burning drama about second chances, gender identity and unconditional love.

Cast includes: Alicia Osyka, Amy Mathews, Jeremy Levi, Daisy Coyle.


Saturday 4 February 2017

11am: Coral Bay by Jessica Messenger.

Cat has run away to Coral Bay, stranding her husband and a new born baby in Perth. Her mother Jenny has driven twelve hundred kilometres to make her come home. Her grandmother Trish wants them both to nick off, so she can die alone.

Cast includes: Nicola Bartlett, Alex Jones, John Shrimpton, Alexandra Nell.

3pm: Thiago by Kirsten Jane.

The table is set for dinner. Trust is broken with the bread. "Thiago" is an original comedy about what we're willing to believe in the name of love.   

Cast includes: Jo Morris, Sarah McNeill, Will O’Mahony, Daisy Coyle.



VENUE: Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre of WA. Corner of Roe and William Streets, Perth.

RSVP: Attendance is free, but please let us know which play reading sessions you plan to attend by registering online.

WARNING: Strong language.


Supported in part by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation.

 Presented as part of The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights at FRINGE WORLD FESTIVAL 2017.


“Introducing new talent to audiences with fresh ideas presented to the company’s high standards, the development of local drama seems in safe hands.” Australian Stage Online for LOADED: A Double Bill of New Plays (2016)

 “A showcase for some of the brightest of our own writers, directors and creatives.” The West Australian for LOADED: A Double Bill of New Plays (2016)

 “Moving, challenging pieces that have dominated my thoughts.” Pelican Magazine for LOADED: A Double Bill of New Plays (2016)